The Gifts Companion Animals Bring #DVPAW2014

Last week was Dog Vacay’s Pet Appreciation Week. I wanted to write about what it means to me to share my home with companion animals, but I couldn’t quite put into words what I wanted to say.


But yesterday, when Rumpy and I were out in the yard, I noticed a ripe apple on the tree. I picked it and ate it. Man, it was so sweet and tart- probably one of the best apples I’ve ever eaten.

And then it hit me- I never would have savored that apple if not for Rumpy.

I never would have noticed this guy, and what a waste that would be.


I have spent a good portion of time writing about the responsibilities of giving care to animals. But what about the pleasures they bring to me? For truly, they have given me far more than I have given them.

Having dogs has brought to me an appreciation of the outdoors. Before dogs, I stayed inside all the time. Now I’m outside all hours of the day and night, through all kinds of weather. As a result, this spring I have watched the buds appear, then the blooms, and now I watch the fruit grow and ripen on the trees. I smell the gardenia. I experience the wonder that is the ecosystem in my back yard. All that is thanks to Rumpy and those that came before him.

Who knew I would come to love the wonder of the great outdoors?

Having cats has taught me that grit and determination will win out every time. Yes, the cat may be too heavy to actually climb the curtains, but that never stopped him, did it? And neither did a squirt bottle, though it stopped him while I was watching. But no, a cat never gives up, until one day I walk into the living room and there he is, at the top of the curtain rod. And I’m wondering how the hell that happened.

Cats can do things I can only dream of.

Companion animals have taught me that I am far stronger than I ever knew I could be. I can find money to go to the vet when I don’t have any. I can wrestle with a cat or dog and administer pills. I can make painful end of life decisions for someone I love dearly.

Because of animals, I began this blog. It’s turned out the be one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. But I didn’t start it for me. I started it to try to make some extra cash for them. That didn’t happen, but we did get a few free treats along the way.

Did you say treats?



For some reason I don’t quite understand, we humans have become immune to the suffering of other humans. But not so to the suffering of animals. The conservative and liberal can disagree on many things, but they typically agree on issues pertaining to the welfare of our companion animals. I think companion animals are what keep us human.

And that, my dear readers, is a remarkable gift indeed.


38 thoughts on “The Gifts Companion Animals Bring #DVPAW2014

  1. I do believe people underestimate the impact companion animals have on us. Obvious testimonies are found whenever you read a story about a veteran paired with a service animal, they help us cope with everyday tasks,

  2. I love this as it rings true so much..i would be a mess without my companions ..they woke the world for me..good and bad but never indifferent and that apple always tastes so good …hugs Fozziemum xx

  3. Indeed is right. I have found the same with my dogs. They taught me to enjoy nature more. I see so much more when I am with them.
    Nick, my late cat, was all about humor and persistence. I miss him terribly.

  4. This is very true! I totally agree with you, yes animals bring us more than we give them. They make our life much happier! They don’t speak words, but they taught us lots of things without words. Thank you very much for a great post! 🙂

  5. What a beautiful share. I am moved to tears. My animals mean so much to me; however, sometimes I am overwhelmed by what they cost me: financially, emotionally, in time, in amount of space in my home, in how I need to adjust my home, etc…,. Sometimes I forget how much they give me in ways that are not just companionship.

    Blessing to your family from our family, cgw, and the terrible trio of felines (who are really quite wonderful).

  6. Wonderful post.
    I am a doggie person , though that doesn’t mean to say I dislike cats. All pets bring companionship to many. They have their own special magic, and you are never alone.

  7. I hear your message. I have an old cat (and 3 younger ones). That mean injections twice a day, extra litter boxes in places I wish they weren’t, cleaning occasional accidents and the annoying 5 a.m. wake up call when he’s hungry. Oh yes and worry too! Wouldn’t trade it for anything although every once in a while I feel exhausted. I always remember the little kitten that walked into my house and took over. He gave me joy and comfort over the years so I owe him big time.

  8. having an animal makes such a difference in our outlook on life, without the cats there would be no reason to get out of bed in the morning. they make sure that their needs are foremost, i am ‘purred’ awake every morning, and am greeted at the door whether i have been gone for 5 minutes or 2 hours. i would like to be able to have a dog, it would make it necessary to get out and socialize, unfortunately we are not allowed.

  9. They do make such a difference in us, don’t they? I learned about unconditional love and bravery from my precious Pugsley cat who had cancer several years ago. His gentleness and patience and uncomplaining demeanor taught me much and his spirit is still there to help me and continue to teach me. I have learned much from humans, but what I have learned from those animals in my life seems many times, to be the most precious.

  10. Great post and fantastic photos! I feel that no one has ever loved me like my pets have, and I just hope thst they have felt the same from me.

  11. You always come with wonderful thoughts for you posts. Posts so many of us can relate. It’s one of the reasons I love your blog and am glad you didn’t give it up entirely.

    I may have adopted BJ and saved him from a shelter, but BJ saved me from myself. Five friends and relatives, including my father, had died within a short time of one another. Most were younger than I. I went to work, came home, and stayed home. That was my life UNTIL I walked into the Humane Society one Sunday, walked down the aisle of cages, and spotted him bounding up to the front. The rest as they say is history. I had to take him out and began to talk to other dog parents during our walks. I also began going to Central Park with him.

    Animals make an incredible difference and I am very grateful.

  12. We didn’t know we had a pineapple guava tree right outside out deck until we adopted an obese choc lab, Bubba. He was 30 pounds overweight and in congestive heart failure, so we put him on a diet adding cabbage to fill his belly. In the process of loosing all that weight (which he did) he became adept at sniffing out anything edible within sniffing distance. One day he smelled fruity. I was worried he had diabetic breath. No, he was okay physically. It was in fact fruity breath. He found the ripe fruit on our tree that only fruited every few years. We have since relished many a good bite of that incredibly delicious fruit. Thank you, Bubba! Love this post! ❤

  13. When i was quite ill and fighting to stay alive my Dogs taught me to enjoy the little everyday moments, to not feel sorry for myself and to think positive. They are the ones who had me out side for that fresh air and some sunshine. They would act goofy to get me to laugh when I was struggling. They and that awful experience changed me and for the better and if it were not for my dogs that awful experience would have been so much worse.

  14. I got my first Florida dog a month after the death of my husband. My kids had gone back to school and I was very lonely. I didn’t leave thew house. It was sad. I got a Scottie and had to take her out to walk several times a day. I met the neighbors that I had not know for the 9 previous years through these walks with the dog. It has been 21+ years and I have always had a dog and continue to have a reason for enjoying life on a daily basis.

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